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Libertarian Commentary on The News
By Nathan A. Barton 2012
Posted February 13, 2012

Monday, February 06, 2012

Politics 2012
Santorum Only GOP Candidate Beating Obama, Rasmussen Daily Poll Finds

This is somewhat more believable than last week’s polls which claimed that only Romney was within reaching distance. But we see the damage the GOP has done itself by majoring in minors and failing to present a truly conservative alternative to the Tranzi First Citizen and his backers and puppetmasters. Of course, BOTH are just flavors of statism, and the only real alternatives are either a return to the Constitution - strictly enforced, or the abolition of government.

First Citizen - Politics 2012
Obama Says He Deserves A Second Term

What IS he (or his teleprompter) smoking? What he deserves... well, we can’t really talk about that, but it surely isn’t a second term: impeachment together with Holder, Clinton, Napolitano, Sebelius, and Geithner, maybe.

Abominable Act
New Medicaid Report Finds Health Reform Law Insurer Fee Costly to States
(CNS News)

A provision of the health reform law intended to tax health insurance companies to help fund coverage expansions will end up costing the states themselves about $13.6 billion and the federal government about $24.8 billion...

It couldn’t happen to a better bunch of folks - except that of course they will flog off the costs onto the taxpayers and future generations. But this speeds up the process of medical industry collapse AND wins more people to the idea of ending ObummerCare completely, not “reforming” it.

Self Defense
California: Taco Truck Owner Defends Himself
(Mercury News)

"Despite bleeding from three gunshot wounds, a co-owner of an East Oakland taco truck was able to return fire and twice hit the robbery suspect accused of shooting him early Thursday, police said." (02/02/12)

Sometimes you wish you could do better, and avoid getting shot yourself, but clearly, the situation would have been fatal if the truck owner had not been armed.

African collapse
Mali: 15,000 flee as Tuareg rebellion gains force
(The Scotsman)

"More than 15,000 people, including military personnel, have fled from Mali into neighbouring countries since members of the nomadic Tuareg launched a new rebellion against the government last month, aid officials have said. ... The International Committee of the Red Cross yesterday said 10,000 people had crossed into Niger after fighting in towns just across the border, and the ICRC was preparing to provide food and shelter." (02/06/12)

It was clear that Mali would “benefit” from the bloody rebellion and civil war (which stirred up and severely harmed the nomads), but not quite THIS much. Food and shelter may be important, but what the Tuareg need are weapons, ammo, and a preacher to lead them to regaining their traditional freedom and willingness to trade with the sedentary peoples of the region. And one way to do that is also to arm the townspeople so that they can meet with the nomads on equal terms, and ALL fight and get rid of the government thugs that are all their enemies.

Islamic war: Arab street revolt
U.S. Seeks New Alliance Outside U.N. to Hasten Departure of Syrian Leader

Isn’t this meddling in “internal matters?” Of course, the UN isn’t going to do anything - not when there are dozens, if not scores, of similar murdering thugs in charge of most countries in Asia and Africa and the old Soviet “near overseas.”

Our right to bear arms
North Carolina: Alert neighbor nails burglary suspect
(Winston-Salem Journal)

"'I saw this guy step out of the house with a sack of stuff on his back like Santa Claus,' Foster said. 'I got my pistol out,' Foster said matter-of-factly. Seeing the burglar cut across his own yard was too much. He pulled a 9 mm semi-automatic handgun and attracted the intruder's undivided attention. 'I threw down on him and said 'Don't move,'' Foster said. The man, identified by police as 23-year-old Jason Carver, complied." (02/05/12)

NOT self-defense but STILL legitimate use of a firearm to protect your neighbors. An action worthy of the Good Samaritan himself.

Mama's Note: I'm glad this worked out for him this time. It might have been a very different story if the robber had chosen to ignore him and he'd shot the man as he fled. That seems to be happening a lot lately, and it is not a good trend. It is important to remember that, in the current legal climate of most places, you can't draw unless you have no other choice - only to save your life, or that of someone else.

Crash of 2009
States seek currencies made of silver and gold

"Worried that the Federal Reserve and the U.S. dollar are on the brink of collapse, lawmakers from 13 states, including Minnesota, Tennessee, Iowa, South Carolina and Georgia, are seeking approval from their state governments to either issue their own alternative currency or explore it as an option. Just three years ago, only three states had similar proposals in place." (02/03/12)

Predictably, the major impediment to doing this is the FedGov - which refuses to accept this as “money” AND tries to levy income taxes on changes in the value of the coin (as measured in Federal Reserve Notes, aka “dollars”).

Crash of 2009 - Lies by government
US unemployment drops to 8.3% after hiring burst
(AP via mail.com)

"In the most impressive surge for the job market since early last year, the United States added 243,000 jobs in January, far more than economists expected. The unemployment rate dropped to 8.3 percent, the lowest in three years. Hiring accelerated across the economy and up and down the pay scale." (02/03/12)

This website bought and repeated the AP line (which was just the Administration’s line): this is absolute garbage: the numbers were created by further reducing the labor force to the lowest level in decades, so that the “8.3%” is even MORE divorced from reality than numbers of the past. While there are obviously some companies and some industries and some localities with jobs being added, in most of the country, the number of jobs has continued to shrink or remain static. The reason for this is obvious: the economy is the MAJOR element determining who will win the 2012 elections. If people buy these lies, then the results will be four more years of the same.

Islamic war: Persian front - Stupid US
US Levies New Sanctions on Iran's Central Bank

Another act of war? What will Tehran do to respond, or do we really want to know?

Islamic war: Persian front - First Citizen
Obama Hopes Standoff With Iran Can Be Solved Diplomatically

So why does he keep doing things that are usually a cause for war?

Islamic war: Arab street revolt
U.S. Military Aid to Egypt at Risk for First Time in Decades

Well, it is about time. Honestly, we should NOT have been bribing Egypt’s generals for years to keep them from attacking Israel, closing the Suez, and from sucking up to the Russians. But notice, this comes AFTER the “victory” of “democratic” forces in Egypt - an event more and more obviously fictional as time goes on.

Politics 2012
GOP (Finally) Ends Nevada Vote Count; Romney Takes 50%

Actually, the count was still not over yesterday, and some of the counts smell really bad. But never mind, the MSM is screaming about how great that Romney is doing.

Culture wars
Apologies From NFL, NBC After M.I.A. Flips Bird

The apologies seem half-hearted at best - and certain does nothing to prove that the NFL or NBC are going to change anything. A friend sent me a petition to the NFL to sign but frankly, that is a waste of electrons. Here’s my response:
I wish AFA the best in their effort, but I don't think NFL will listen: they are too much the "bread & circuses" providers to do anything like this. Tebow and those like him are the embarrassment, not this "M.I.A." woman, to the NFL.

Of course, some of us gave up on watching Super Bowl and the like a LONG time ago: my family is one of those. I think that Boston and New York were playing on Sunday (I saw a news story about their mayors, both real hoploclasts, teaming up to urge Congress to take away everyone's guns) but I even let the talk show discussion about the game slide past me and am not sure who won - nor do I really care. I recall hearing something about some raunchy ads and some Holywood-politician ad, and that is about it.

I've never been one of those christians who believed it was wrong for christians to watch television or movies, but as things have declined so much since the 1960s, I certainly understand their arguments more. Scott sent me a website of interest, showing someone’s idea of the ties and links:

Russian front
Russia's Anti-Putin Movement Finds a Protest Song

Well, I suppose it is a positive thng - but really meaningless, unless you are a liberal who elevates appearances over reality. More important is the work of thousands of people dedicated to liberty who organize and coordinate and teach (and preach) and encourage the resistance and the preparations.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Politics 2012
Democrats’ chances of retaking the House improve
(Washington Post)

Democrats have been saying for a long time that the House could be in play in 2012, and now some Republicans are starting to join them. “For Democrats to take 25 seats, they will need a wave,” former congressman Tom Davis wrote in an op-ed in The Hill recently. “Continued polarization and obstruction could create such a wave.”

Whistling in the dark, trying to influence the election, or just stating a fact? Frankly, I think that they are hoping that it is what is happening. I’ve heard even staunch Democrats strongly supporting “vote them all out.”

Mama's Note: Not that it would make a particle of difference, either way - to the rest of us, of course. For them, the difference is who gets to call the shots. Same shots, naturally.

Culture wars: government attacking religion
Archbishop to U.S. Troops: Obamacare Reg ‘Is a Blow to a Freedom...for Which You Have Seen Your Buddies Fall in Battle’

Roman Catholic Archdiocese for the Military Services, wrote a letter to be read at all Sunday Masses for U.S. military personnel around the world that said ... [in part] “It is a blow to a freedom that you have fought to defend and for which you have seen your buddies fall in battle,” the archbishop wrote. Another line in his letter said: “We cannot—we will not—comply with this unjust law.” ... the Army's Office of the Chief of Chaplains told the service's senior chaplains that Catholic priests serving as Army chaplains should be told not to read the archbishop's letter from the pulpit. ... In his Jan. 28 telephone conversation with Army Secretary McHugh, Archbishop Broglio was able to extract from the secretary an admission that it had been wrong for the secretary to try to silence the Catholic chaplains. The archbishop decided that the line in his letter that said Catholics cannot and will not comply with the “unjust law” of the HHS regulation would not be read aloud in Catholic Masses by the chaplains, but that the rest of the letter would. The line stating "we will not ... comply with this unjust law" did remain, however, in the printed letter that was distributed at Masses said by Army chaplains and it remains in the copies of the letter posted on the website of the Archdiocese for the Military.

The truth is not allowed, not in the current military under the control of the White House. So this message didn’t get out. Not officially. The SecArmy said it would be “misinterpreted” as a “call to civil disobedience.” No, that is exactly what it was - and it is a message that military personnel and their families HAVE heeded in the past and NEED to heed now and in the future, on both this and on other issues. Why should ANY Catholic fight to uphold a worthless document (the Constitution, in the eyes of the Pentagon and the White House) or to sustain a regime that seeks to steal their liberties? Pray that many military - and not just Catholics DO resist, to the point of civil disobedience and see how the First Citizen can control that many court martials!

What? You say that you don’t agree with Catholics on contraceptives and abortions? So you don’t care? WRONG ANSWER: Next time, what part of the First Amendment (or the rest of the Bill of Rights) will the White House - the First Citizen and his minions! - unilaterally abrogate? And so blatantly? Free speech? Right to a trial by jury? Right to assemble? Right to petition? Right to habeus corpus? (Of course, most of these have already been taken away by stealth... even if too many don’t realize it.)

Some choice words on this entire issue, forwarded to me by MamaLiberty:
Obamacare vs the Catholic Bishops

Now we have the government mandating that all employers must provide comprehensive coverage to all their employees. What was once a prudential individual decision has become a government-mandated “right” that trumps the employer-employee, the doctor-patient, and perhaps even the priest-penitent relationship. Some progress. ... There is some tragic irony to all this. We should not forget that many religious leaders have long-supported increasing the role of the state in health care and the economy at-large, perhaps thinking that conscience clauses would protect their institutions against any undue interference. Well, they were wrong; what the state giveth, the state taketh away. If you invite the state to “assist” more and more of your activities, it will eventually start telling you how to do things. Encouraging the Democratic Party’s efforts from Harry Truman on to socialize the health care system of the United States is likely to have dire consequences for Catholic and other religious-based social service providers. Economic ignorance among religious leaders comes at a very high cost to their own good works.

The churches of Europe allowed the governments to fund and then control their charitable institutions and their educational institutions and now - the churches are but puppets of the state even more than in the “bad old days” of the state-church: it is no wonder that fewer and fewer Europeans are christians in ANY sense: they were betrayed by their churches and the state is now all.

Mama's Note: The "government" has no business whatsoever telling anyone - not just Catholics - how to run their lives or take care of their health... something on which we all agree. Catholics (or atheists, or Baptists, or transvestites, or anyone else) must not be treated differently under the law. If it is unjust for them to be so regulated, it is equally unjust for everyone else, regardless of what they believe.

The churches also can't whine about being "forced" to do this or that, while at the same time using the exclusive power of government for their own purposes and benefit. They simply can't have it both ways - far as I'm concerned. And I won't support them under those conditions... ever, because doing so does NOT "weaken any portion of Obamacare" - not in the least. It merely further empowers the pampered, perfumed princes of both conscienceless organizations in their privileged ivory tower.

First Citizen - Culture wars: government attacks on religion
WH: Women ‘Deserve’ to Have Catholic Church Buy Them Sterilizations, Contraceptives and Abortifacients

The First Citizen is trying to twist the argument into one of rights - just like they did for pharmacists and welfare and border-crossing and so much more. Ignoring the obvious fact that the RC Church’s institutions do not generally hire people who are opposed to their doctrines, and that money donated by millions of Catholics who oppose this is being highjacked by the FedGov, you DON’T “give” people rights that involve STEALING rights from others. Now, let us talk about how government is supposed to give people what they “deserve” and NOT what they are owed or PROMISED.

First Citizen - Culture wars: government attacks on religion
Santorum: 'Mr. President, We're Not That Stupid'

On the campaign trail in Golden, Colo., Monday, Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum flatly rejected the Obama administration's claim that it is working with religious institutions to "allay" their concerns about a new Obamacare rule requiring some Catholic institutions and individuals to provide contraception coverage in their health insurance plans. "Ha, that's just a bunch of poppycock,” Santorum said. “That’s just ridiculous. Look, Mr. President, we’re not that stupid. The Catholic Church has been arguing and negotiating this for a year, and the administration is saying, ‘Oh, it’s just a misunderstanding.’ It’s just a bunch of bull," Santorum said.

Yeah, right. Hard to prove it by the GOP track record in Congress for the last 150+ years. But in this case, he might be right. If even two or three of the GOP candidates are mentioning it in Colorado (the state that first opened the door to the massive 40 year wave of baby killing), then it is sinking in.

Government-run, tax-funded schools - Culture wars: government attacks on religion
Pa. Bishop Does Not Recant Saying that Hitler And Mussolini 'Would Love Our (Public School) System'

Wow, another bishop speaking the truth for once - I don’t suppose this will bleed over into other political or religious matters.

Abominable Act
Staples Founder: A Republican President Should Repeal Obamacare to Help Economy, Create Jobs

A big-business type who is speaking out and saying the obvious.

Mama's Note: How about repealing it because it is evil, period. It would still be evil even if such repeal didn't help the economy.

Abominable Act
WH: Signatures to Rescind HHS Contraceptive Mandate Exceed Those on Petition in Favor of Policy 5 to 1

AND IT WON’T MAKE A BIT OF DIFFERENCE. Petitioning made sense back in the 1700s, but never really survived today - except in the extremely formal process of nominating candidates and doing initiatives and referendums. Twenty or thirty MILLION signatures might be listened to - and given lip service. The only kind of petitioning that seems to work today (until they find a way around it) is the SOPA/PIPA protests, blackouts and such a couple of weeks ago. The fact that the White House even HAS a website like this indicates how worthless it really is.

Mama's Note: And all of this "legislation" would still be evil if 100% of the petitioners were in favor of it.

First Citizen’s minions
Education Secretary Got $50,000 Payday from Chicago Schools

No conflict of interest here, eh? And we complain about teachers not getting paid enough - bet Chicago had 50 good teachers in private schools that could have used another $1000 each for the holidays? I recall the plate being passed during the Christmas concert at my sons’ school - for gifts for the teachers....

Congress in action
Cantor: $260 Billion Transportation Bill ‘Is Focused on Reform’

What a joke - it is focused on SPENDING MONEY and BUYING VOTES. The more reports that are coming out about this, the more it is clear that it is a monster built of PORK.

Politics 2012
Romney Looks to Squelch Santorum's Late Rise

Of course. While still trying to fend off Paul. Of the four, Paul and Santorum are personally ranked orders of magnitude higher than Gingrich or Romney - and nothing to do with religion or home - purely their views of freedom and liberty. And Paul is FAR beyond Santorum. But I understand people like Larkin Rose who has - seriously- endorsed Romney, saying it will collapse things even more rapidly.

Stupid US - Islamic war: Canaanite front
State Dept. Sidesteps Opportunity to Criticize Palestinian Unity Deal: ‘An Internal Matter

Never mind that the State Department attacks Syria daily - on “an internal matter” or that it has attacked Honduras - on “an internal matter” or Iran - on “an internal matter.”

Congress in action
Senators Want to Replace Dollar Bill with $1 Coin to Attack Debt and Deficit

Oh, please, not this hoary old game - shell game, in my opinion - again. The tiny sum saved by using coins instead of paper is minuscule - but they will tout their waste of time in doing this and by majoring in minors, speed the economic collapse. The only coins that would make ANY sense would be to go back to SILVER - even if a one-ounce coin had a face value of $30 or even $50/ounce - but that has already been criminalized. There ARE a good many states who are looking at issuing coins but they are going to be denominated in grams or ounces and NOT in dollars.

Detroit Vigilantes: 911 IS A JOKE
(The Daily)

Detroit citizens no longer rely on police as self-defense killings skyrocket The people of Detroit are taking no prisoners. Justifiable homicide in the city shot up 79 percent in 2011 from the previous year, as citizens in the long-suffering city armed themselves and took matters into their own hands. The local rate of self-defense killings now stands 2,200 percent above the national average. Residents, unable to rely on a dwindling police force to keep them safe, are fighting back against the criminal scourge on their own. And they’re offering no apologies.

Mama's Note: Still far too many false conclusions and stereotypes, but a better balance than I would expect from most reporters - especially females. The saddest thing is that she does not even begin to recognize that the police cannot (and never could) "protect" anyone, and have no obligation to do so.

See Nathan's article on this topic here.

Culture wars: killing babies
Pennsylvania: Students get baby poison from vending machine

Students at Shippinsberg University in central Pennsylvania can get the “morning-after” pill by sliding $25 into a vending machine installed at the request of the student government. … [The] public school of 8,300 students provides the Plan B One Step emergency contraceptive along with condoms, decongestants and pregnancy tests. The pill is available without a prescription to anyone 17 or older, and the school … found that all current students are that age or older[.] … The idea started when Shippensburg conducted a survey about health center services several years ago, and 85 percent of the respondents supported making Plan B available, he said.

The morning-after pill, by definition, takes a human life if used. Bullets and pistols do NOT necessarily kill people when used – but I’ll bet you that NO one in this university will let students buy ammo, much less guns, from a vending machine. Our hypocrisy astounds me.

Politics 2012
Eastwood defends himself
(Daily Telegraph)

Clint Eastwood has defended himself against Republican claims his Super Bowl ad was essentially an endorsement of Barack Obama’s re-election campaign. The two-minute spot for American car giant Chrysler had the gravel-voiced Dirty Harry star declaring that it to be “half-time in America” as rousing images showed the resurgence of Detroit, the city at the heart of the US auto industry. … What the ad doesn’t mention is that Chrysler is back to work following an $12.5 billion government bailout from the Obama administration …. Despite enormous controversy at the time, the 2009 bailout is now widely seen to have saved thousands of jobs and is likely to be at the heart of Mr Obama’s re-election efforts.

Of course, once more I have to attack the media – the Telegraph in the UK this time – for poor reporting and more. I heard this add multiple times in the past two days, and I frankly thought that it was a more general ad – not tied to the election or to the First Citizen, but to our imminent collapse in general.

Rah! Rah! Never mind that we are $17 TRILLION behind in the score, or that the images he showed of “Detroit” were actually LA and New Orleans – and taken very carefully even then. Nor do they point out that that Eastwood’s poster-child, Chrysler, is 55% owned by FIAT, which in turn I believe is owned by Italy – one of the biggest of the PIIGS that are bringing down the Euro and Europe. And of course, the view that the bailout is “widely seen” to have saved thousands of jobs is just sheer lies and statistics: although I have seen even so-called “libertarians” stand up to defend the First Citizen’s numbers as accurate, claiming that it is impossible to have a conspiracy that big and lies that big – even while we continue to sink further into depression. Of course, Eastwood himself claims to be a libertarian - though what flavor, I do not know. Maybe he figures, like Larson Rose, that it is best in the long run if the Tranzi First Citizen wins again.

Theft by government
With Pensions Like This, No Kidding Providence Rhode Island Faces 'Bankruptcy By June'
(businessinsider.com )

Untenable pension promises made by corrupt politicians to corrupt unions in an unholy alliance is about to sink another city.

The Crash of 2009 was and IS a disaster created by governments, from local up to the federal level - but mostly it is hidden, and they slowly are revealed one by one. The FedGov SHOULD be bankrupt, if people were not so fearful of admitting it.

Culture wars: same-gender “marriage”
Federal Appeals Court Rules Against California Marriage Law

A federal appeals court ruled against California’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage Tuesday, arguing the ban unconstitutionally singles out gays and lesbians for discrimination. In a split decision, a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found the state’s Proposition 8 “works a meaningful harm to gays and lesbians” by denying their right to civil marriage in violation of the 14th Amendment. ... The 2-1 decision is expected to be appealed, to either the full court or to the U.S. Supreme Court, and a stay of the order remains in place as the appeal process continues, the court noted.

Well, I realize that I will be bitterly resented and even hated for saying this, but this is another example of twisted and warped judicial politics and pushing a Tranzi agenda that has NOTHING to do with personal liberty. There is nothing in the law or definition that says a person must be able to marry for “love” or “lust” or anything else, and a male (whether homosexual or heterosexual) is free to marry any woman that will have him, and vice-versa. Every other culture and society has viewed two men marrying or two women marrying as a perversion, and now government is ramming this perversion down our throats - even the throats of the masses of the People’s Republic of California. People should be free to do whatever perverted (or righteous) thing they want, as long as they don’t force it on others - but that does NOT give them (or judges) the right to call a tail a leg and claim the cat has five legs!

Home Front - A Once-Free Economy
Horrors of Business Approvals in SanFran
(A Thousand Nations)

An excellent review of what a hideous nightmare starting a business has become in this nation. Thanks to the folks at Godfather Politics for this one. San Francisco is not the only one - and not just one of 10,000 cities and counties in America to do this. I know dozens of people who have tried - and only a few have succeeded - even in rural and frontier locations. The heavy arm of the FedGov, the states as little more than Roman-style tax farmers (“publicans”) and then the nanny-state micromanagement of counties and towns and special districts is the mountain piled on the camel’s back. One very good friend and client is seriously thinking about going Galt - and has never even READ Ayn Rand (or watched the movie).

Great Ideas
Ten-Year-Old Creates New Explosive in School

Surprised that she hasn’t been expelled and make to disappear (yeah, it is a private or semi-private school). I mean, kids get thrown out of school for drawing a picture of a pistol, and this girl has invented a whole new explosive - who knows, maybe she has had a bad childhood... But seriously, there are NEW things out there that God knows and we don’t - He’s left it for us to find!

Our right to defend ourselves
Netherlands general defends military: ‘I choose the gun’

“Ladies and gentleman, I share your goals,” he said while holding a rifle. “I share the goals of the speakers you heard before. I did not choose to take up the pen, the brush, the camera. I chose this instrument. I chose the gun.” “Let us cherish the fact that most of you have never been close to a gun,” he added. Why? “It means the Netherlands is a peaceful country. The Netherlands is not at war. It means soldiers are not needed to patrol our streets.” Van Uhm — who lost his son to a roadside bomb in Afghanistan in 2008 — goes on to explain why he chose the military.

I am sure this is another point for which I will be condemned, but military force - properly constituted, properly training, properly used, by free people in a free nation are essential to the preservation of liberty. Like ANY tool, military forces can be used wrongly - and all too often ARE. But to hate military forces is like hating guns or swords.

Mama's Note: The real problem with the organized military is that it is always (so far) the exclusive tool of the state. It is the state that claims exclusive authority to use such force, and no "private military" is permitted unless totally sold out to the state. Any such that is not completely under the control of the state is called a "rebel militia," or worse.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Politics 2012
Santorum sweeps Missouri, Minnesota, and Colorado

Returns from 83 percent of Minnesota's precincts showed Santorum with 45 percent support, Texas Rep. Ron Paul with 27 percent and Romney — who won the state in his first try for the nomination four years ago — with 17 percent. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich trailed with 11 percent. It was closer in Colorado, where returns from all the precincts showed Santorum with 40 percent of the vote to 35 for Romney. Gingrich had 13, and Paul claimed 12 percent. Romney showed no sign of disappointment in remarks to supporters. [Missouri was a non-binding straw poll.]

What is interesting in the mail.com story is that the headline page AND the main story show a jubilant Ron Paul. He has stated that his strategy is not to win any one state as much as it is to get as many delegates as possible. The results in Colorado indicate (to me) the enormous power of the state party structure in the GOP (which allowed a Democrat to win the last race for governor) and their dislike - no, hatred - of the Tea Party and the libertarian wing. But once more, Romney’s standing is weakened, and Gingrich is sucking wind bigtime.

Politics 2012
'We Felt It Coming,' Santorum Says After Triple Win

This may be - and as I’ve said, I’ll tolerate Santorum more than Romney or Gingrich, but it is clear that the price is going to be high for the GOP - and for the ruins of this nation - whichever of them gets it, no matter how much clout Paul has.

Abominable Act - Government attacks religion
At Press Club, HHS Secretary Dodges Press--And Questions About Conrtraception Mandate

This sounds like she had an attack of common sense - even while new “efforts” to come to a compromise are touted - as if they have any willingness to do so.

Politics 2012
Occupy D.C. to Protest 'Dastardly Politicians' at Conservative Gathering in Washington

This again shows where the alignment of the Occupy Movement lies, but let them - it is their right, and the more that they do this, the more libertarians and conservatives they will drive out of their ranks.

Crash of 2009
Bernanke: ‘A Long Way to Go’ Before Full Jobs Recovery

This makes it sound as if there IS ANY “jobs recovery” instead of playing games with numbers.

Crash of 2012?
Bernanke Points to 'Increased Possibility of a Sudden Fiscal Crisis'

Sounds like he’s been listening to Denninger and a few others - and could be, given his usual attitude and pap, taken as a really serious sign of panic on his part. Meanwhile, we all watch and do nothing to learn from Europe and the PIIGS...

Mama's Note: Who is this "we?" A lot of us have learned a great deal. Bernanke doesn't seem to be among them.

Nanny state - First Woman
Inspired by Michelle Obama, Walmart Introduces ‘Healthier’ Food Logo, Plans to Track ‘Behavior Shift’

This is... gag, it is hard to eat when your stomach is soured by this kind of nonsense. What, does Wally-world think it can get a better class of customers if it drives all its old ones to Family Dollar? Or is this just a way (besides the all-time favorite of campaign cash) for Wally-world to suck up to the First Citizen and the Tranzis so it can go build stores in Haiti and Tunisia and soon, Syria and Iran?

Mama's Note: I'd certainly object if they were planning to track individual users, but such does not seem to be the case. If WalMart wants to jump on the "healthy for you" bandwagon, it's their business. Those who think it a great idea - or don't care either way - will continue to shop at WalMart. Others won't. Their choice.

Politics 2012
Hypocrisy? Obama Embraces 'Super PAC' After Condemning Them

This should be no surprise: just add one more item to his list of betrayals” Middle-class taxes, Gitmo closing, Leaving the ‘Stan and the Sand Box, and of course, his “no-lobbyists” rule.

Abominable Act - Politics 2012
Rep. Paul Ryan: There Were ‘Seeds’ of Romneycare in Obamacare

This SHOULD be potent ammo to those trying to nominate anyone BUT Romney, and maybe it is finally making a difference, based on recent votes and caucases.

First Citizen - His strange foreign buddies
Obama-Erdogan Partnership Comes Amid Rising Concern Over Turkish Policies

This is par for the course for the First Citizen - the only foreigners he sees eye to eye with are those who don’t like the US. Michelle’s influence?

Texas: Attacked by Mountain Lion in Big Bend National Park
(Fox News, Austin)

Thanks to Deb for this one; her thoughts: So if the father had been carrying a weapon and had shot the lion and even killed it, he would have probably been up on felony charges. Will he still face charges for wounding the lion with a pocketknife?

Home front – Stupid people tricks
Drones over US get an OK from Congress
(Washington Times)

… a bill Congress passed this week to make it easier for the government to fly unmanned spy planes in U.S. airspace. The FAA Reauthorization Act, which President Obama is expected to sign, also orders the Federal Aviation Administration to develop regulations for the testing and licensing of commercial drones by 2015. Privacy advocates say the measure will lead to widespread use of drones for electronic surveillance by police agencies across the country and eventually by private companies as well.

Technology is NOT evil – and the government shouldn’t have the power to forbid people to fly remotely-piloted vehicles (aircraft) over the United States. “Drones” are EEEVILLL – so we have this sort of paranoia and panic. RPVs can serve hundreds of purposes to make life better for us all: firefighting, emergency deliveries, aerial mapping, crop dusting, yes, and security. OF COURSE the government can use them for evil purposes, as can companies WORKING for the government – or themselves. But the technology is NOT evil, and it is one more thing that we HAVE to – and GET to live with.

Politics 2012
Poll: Ron Paul surges to second place nationally, just eight points behind Romney
(Daily Call)

A surprising national poll released Tuesday found Texas Rep. Ron Paul surging to second place in the GOP presidential field, coming within eight percentage points of front-runner Mitt Romney. The Reuters/Ipsos poll results show Paul at 21 percent nationally, with Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, at 29 percent. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich scored 19 percent support in the poll, conducted Feb. 2–6, while former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum took 18 percent.

The MSM didn’t say much about this – they were too busy talking about how NONE of the GOP candidates were within “striking distance” of the First Citizen, and how the GOP was eating itself alive and how WONDERFUL the job and economic news was. Get some idea that they are a teeny-bit biased, but then, I’m biased against them. Dr. Paul’s second place showing in Minnesota (an odd state to find him so desirable, frankly) seems to be the herald of more progress in the next few weeks.

Kansas: Lawrence using iPad to help with drunk driving

It started out as a way to crack down on suspected drunk drivers, but Douglas County judges might have started a revolution with the help of the iPad. The iPad has made getting a warrant for blood tests a whole lot easier for the Lawrence area. Instead of having to drive to a judge's house in the middle of the night, when a breathalyzer is refused, officers can send it electronically through their new iPads. Now they get warrants within minutes. And Chief Judge Robert Fairchild says that since the story was published in the local paper, it has garnered interest in other areas. "Other judges have called and said that's a great idea, tell me how you're doing it. One of them had their IT department call me and we talked about how we're doing it," said Fairchild. Judge Fairchild says Lawrence is exploring numerous uses for their new tool.

I’ll BET. Thanks to Steve for this one: his thoughts: They say this is to stop drunk drivers, but what is to stop them from getting a warrant when you just refuse the cop from searching your car using your fourth amendment rights because he/she wants to?
Nathan’s thoughts: Steve is right, and that isn’t just the half of it. This week, especially, a whole rash of stories about insanely evil behavior on the part of cops has shown up - but there are always a dozen a week, from Federal rangers tazering people who let their dogs walk without a leash, to cops who respond to crime scenes and rape the victims, to your everyday - “she’s got a camera! Beat her up and steal it!” events. Virtually ANY excuse for “contact” between a cop and a “civilian” is excuse for abuse by the cop - this would be just the same. And picture the judge woken up from a sound night’s sleep with his second-string mistress by his ‘phone ringing. He rolls over, grabs it, looked with unfocused eyes to make out what it says, grunts, gets distracted, and swipes his thumb across a touch-box to “approve” - and before you know it, fifty heavily-armed and heavily-armored cops go racing out in their government-surplus Peacekeeper USAF security six-wheelers to knock down all the doors and windows of Widow Parmalee’s house, at 666 Winchester, while all the guys counting money from their latest meth sales in the totally different house at 999 Winchester don’t have a care in the world...

Mama's Note: When, in a free country, neither one of them should have any fear of such a "raid."

Congress in action
Congressional Earmarks Used to Fund Projects Near Lawmakers' Properties

Thirty-three members of Congress have directed more than $300 million in earmarks and other spending provisions to dozens of public projects that are next to or within about two miles of the lawmakers' own property...

You know, they don’t NEED to use insider trading, do they?

World wars
UK: "No negotiations" on Falklands

"Britain on Wednesday dismissed a complaint from Argentina about the 'militarization of the South Atlantic' as tensions rise regarding the Falkland Islands, over which the two countries fought a war 30 years ago. 'The people of the Falkland Islands are British out of choice,' the British Foreign Office said in a statement. 'They are free to determine their own future, and there will be no negotiations with Argentina on sovereignty unless the Islanders wish it.'" (02/08/12)

Is there anyone who cannot accept and understand the rights of the Falklanders - or the way the Brits have - in this rare instance - dealt honorably with their relatives and dependents? And that Argentina and its people have perverted their machismo into a complete evil? Of course, the greatest danger facing the Falklanders right now is NOT Argentina - it is that effete self-sustaining, greedy, larcenous, blind, callous group of men and women that call themselves the House of Commons - and their self-seeking, power-hungry Deputy ministers and civil service types, and the fact that they’ve sold out a whole lot more than 3140 subjects of Her Majesty more than once should be a warning.

Mama's Note: I'm wondering if these people really do want to continue to be "subjects" of Britain. What's in it for them?

Crash of 2009 - Trashing the dollar
Oil below $99 as US crude demand lags economy
(ABC News)

"Oil prices hovered below $99 a barrel Thursday in Asia as U.S. crude demand lags the overall improvement in the world's biggest economy. ... Crude has hovered near $100 for the last few months as economic indicators, such as better than expected jobs data, suggests the U.S. economy is strengthening. However, U.S. crude demand has been
slower to pick up."

None of this explains why gasoline prices have climbed 20+ cents in the last 10 days, nor why prices did NOT drop to well below $3/gallon nationwide (well, except for CA and HI, but we know why that is there!) during the winter season, of which we are now two-thirds done. Of course, the jobs data is pretty certain to be bogus, so demand really is NOT “lagging” the economy. It is the fall of the dollar, slow and sporadic but still there, that is causing fuel prices to go up and the oil prices not to drop farther.

Abominable Act - Culture wars: attack on religion
Senate Democrats Say Obama “Reinforced” His Stance on Contraception Mandate at Democratic Retreat

According to the acquaintance from whom I got this: “Obama looks like he is hell-bent on offending all religions except Islam.” Apparently, they are good at deluding themselves. I read, and got MORE sick to my stomach, a few of the “justifications” for this stance and the entire issue - the vitriol and hatred is much worse than anything I’m putting out. And the reasoning is putrid.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Culture wars: attack on religion
Boehner: Rescind Contraception Mandate Entirely So Catholic Individuals—as Well as Institutions—Are Not Forced to Act Against Faith

Now this is the FIRST thing that should have come to mind – and not just for Catholics but for many MANY people of other faiths.

Mama's Note: Good... immediately followed by repeal of ALL the "laws" and regulations that attempt to force the rest of us to act in ways that violate our rights and faith. That would include everything except murder, rape, theft and fraud. I see no difference between "religious freedom" and any other kind.

Culture wars: attack on religion
Concerns About Religious Freedom? Not for Senate Dems, Who Use Contraceptive Mandate As Fundraising Pitch

New fractures in the body politic: the more the Dems (and all the Tranzis) push on this, the more people will understand that they don’t care about “democracy” or liberty – just power and control and their own perverted religions of death and all the rest.

Congress in action – Theft by government
Hoyer: ‘The Fact Is You Don’t Need a Budget’

Now when I think about it, he is probably right: thieves and criminals generally don’t have to worry about budgets – they just go out and steal what they want.

Culture wars: attack on religion
Republican Party Chairman: Obama Contraceptive Mandate ‘Unconscionable and Offensive’

NOW he speaks up – what, it took all the bishops to make him do so? Or is he just slow in jumping on the bandwagon?

Culture wars: attack on religion
White House: Birth Control Mandate ‘Virtually Identical’ to Romney’s Massachusetts Policy

No doubt – so will Catholics support Romney? Do they? Maybe they HAVE started to wake up and see the smoke... Like the next bunch apparently did:

Culture wars: attack on religion
154 Congressmen Send Letter to HHS Protesting HHS Contraception Mandate


Congress in action
Republican-Led House Approves Line-Item Veto for President

No doubt this will stall in the Senate. It is a perennial, and always looks good in an election year.

Congress in action - Culture wars: attack on religion
Sen. Levin: Military Chaplains Shouldn't 'Violate the Tenets of their Troops'

Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Tuesday that he was not informed enough to make a definitive statement on whether the Army’s Office of Chief of Chaplains was right when it ordered Catholic chaplains not to read a Jan. 26 letter from the Catholic Archdiocese of the Military Services during Mass. ... But Levin did offer a comment. “We want our chaplains in the military to be able to follow their own religious tenets, we never want anyone to violate their own religious tenets, but we don’t want them to violate the tenets of their troops either,” Levin told CNSNews.com.

Huh? Chaplains are THERE to “violate the tenets of their troops” - when they drink or let hate get the better of them or whore or think about looting or attacking civilians or anything else that is immoral. Based on this INSANE argument, military chaplains would never be allowed to speak or teach or preach about ANYthing that one of their troops did or thought that they could do: rape their comrade’s wife, sleep with the commander’s daughter (or son), steal the payroll, trade their gear and weapons on the black market - it is all open. And if one of their troops is an atheist - then forget about preaching about God. Levin has always been a Tranzi, and this proves it.

Crash of 2009 - Culture wars: environism
Beef Prices Expected to Climb for Next 2 Years

Along with everything else’s prices. Both the environists and the medical/nanny Nazis are feeling fine about this. Fact is, cattlemen culled their herds pretty good, between the economy and price squeezes and new regulations and drought. So there was a lot of supply for a while, and prices fell - and people demanded more. How, the pendulum swings the other way.

Stupid government tricks - Islamic war: Arab street revolt
US Threats to Cut Aid Over NGO Dispute Won’t Work, Says Egypt’s PM

Never mind that without that, the Egyptian military is sunk for years - until they join up with the Russians or Chinese. Nice to know, though, how much democracy has improved things - like liberty - in Egypt.

Politics 2012
Santorum Urges His Supporters to Reject Another Ford, Dole or McCain

No foolin’? Or is this a sly dig at Dr. Paul? He’s the only old, wornout, miitary-veteran denizen of the Capitol like those three in the race this year - but he surely doesn’t sound like they did!

Stupid government tricks - Culture wars
Pentagon Expected to Issue New Rules Allowing Women Closer to Front Lines

The more we put our daughters and wives into combat (and there isn’t any closer than can get to the front lines than in Combat Engineers and Signal Corps duties, especially in a fluid environment like the ‘Stan or the Sand Box), the more support - moral support, especially - we withdraw from them. Many people warn (as does history) that bad women - women who buy into hate and crime and evil in general - are worse than bad men - they hate more, are more cruel, are more brutal, and worse overall. The Chaplain Corps provides a key part of the effort to keep them from “submitting to the Dark Side” - and yet we are reducing them to impotence.

Stupid government tricks - Islamic war: Persian front
India’s Reluctance to Comply With Iran Oil Sanctions Draws Fire on Capitol Hill

The Congress needs to figure out that they are dealing with reality. If India can’t get the oil it needs from the West, where is it going to go? And if Iran DOES get nukes, who is closer?

Government of Men not Law (Stupid government tricks)
Obama Exempting 10 States From Bush's 'No Child Left Behind' Rules

Now what about the other 47? This is the classic example for the future of “men instead of laws” - the law says this, but IF you know the right people or the right magic words...

Friday, February 10, 2012

Politics 2012
Despite lightheartedness at CPAC gathering, tension within movement can be felt
(Washington Post)

Just 15 months after a huge election victory, members of a fractured conservative movement gathered on Thursday to agree on one thing: If they don’t get their act together soon, the country will really be in trouble.

Is this understatement, misreporting, or do they really think we aren’t “really in trouble” NOW? Probably the last, since it is clear that the RINOs are as much in need of being hunted down and culled in the CPAC as in anyplace else in the GOP: and I use the term “RINO” to speak of the popular idea and NOT the true nature of the GOP demonstrated throughout history.

Local tyranny - thugs
Wisconsin: Woman calls 9-1-1, gets raped by cop
(American Vision)

As I mentioned earlier, this seems to be the week to reveal this kind of execrable behavior - worse than the average run of cops by a long shot - or is it? We’ve seen hundreds of examples of Explorer and Venture Scouts (both women and men) abused and even killed by cops: we’ve seen the demented and the mentally-handicapped gunned down in cold blood; we’ve seen people robbed and maimed and blinded and beaten by cops on the most flimsy of excuses. How many more cities and towns have “police forces” which have been covering this up for decades? The person who posted this wrote: “I would add that justice has still not been served. The police department that harbored a known sexual deviant through five previous investigations, the district attorneys and officials who refused to prosecute or even take action at all, and the police who held the woman on no charges for four days—all deserve keen attention, too.”

Mama's Note: "Keen attention?" Let's see... what is the population of that town or county? How many people should be indicted and prosecuted for this crime? Do the math. If the people who lived there truly cared, justice would already have been served. But no, they are all waiting for someone else... the "officials," to take care of it for them. Not ever going to happen.

Stupid people tricks
Executing Your Teen’s Laptop?
(Red Tape (MSN))

[Tommy Johnson] posted a YouTube video showing him firing bullets through his daughter's laptop computer as an act of discipline. The shooter, who identifies himself as Tommy Jordan from North Carolina, has not yet responded to requests for comment, so it's not possible to verify the authenticity of the stunt, in which he allegedly “executed” the laptop after his daughter posted a profanity-laced note on her Facebook page.

Parental authority? Yes, indeed. Tough love - expensive tough love: doubt she earned the money to buy that herself. But don’t bother to listen to the experts - how do you think we GOT in this mess in the first place?

Stupid government
Oglala Sioux Tribe Sues Beer Companies
(Fox News via Vision to America)

An American Indian tribe sued some of the world’s largest beer makers Thursday, claiming they knowingly contributed to devastating alcohol-related problems on South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. The Oglala Sioux Tribe of South Dakota said it is demanding $500 million in damages for the cost of health care, social services and child rehabilitation caused by chronic alcoholism on the reservation, which encompasses some of the nation’s most impoverished counties. The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court of Nebraska also targets four beer stores in Whiteclay, a Nebraska town near the reservation’s border that, despite having only about a dozen residents, sold nearly 5 million cans of beer in 2010. Tribal leaders and activists blame the Whiteclay businesses for chronic alcohol abuse and bootlegging on the Pine Ridge reservation, where all alcohol is banned. They say most of the stores’ customers come from the reservation, which spans southwest South Dakota and dips into Nebraska.

This is EXACTLY what I expect from the grand and sovereign government of the Oglala Lakota, I am sad to report. Look, I do a lot of work for people on Pine Ridge (it’s called that, “Pine Ridge” although the Sicangu Lakota immediately to the east call their own reservation “The Rosebud.”) I’ve been to Whiteclay, which is indeed within walking distance of Pine Ridge town: the tribal capital and largest population center (though there are many communities a long way from Pine Ridge town.

[sarcasm] I’ve seen the beer store owners and their employees go through the housing areas in Pine Ridge and force the people out at gunpoint and with whips and clubs force them to walk (or even drive) to Whiteclay and made them buy beer and other alcohol, not even letting them buy snacks to soak up some of the ethanol in the drinks. And they are FORCED to buy the cheapest stuff, too: I don’t keep up with beer companies so I don’t know who owns Hamms or Lone Star or Bud Light - but I suspect that not a lot of these evil people allow the good tribesmen and tribeswomen of Pine Ridge to buy the nice expensive imported German or Belgian beers. After all, they know that after they get them all drunk on beer, they can force them to do things - you know - and get half of them (really more than half, but lets not go into that) PG and raise another generation of FAS-afflicted customers. Just like they’ve been doing since (according to the article, at least) 1832. And Whiteclay is the ONLY place that has this evil Gang of Four Storeowners doing that. They then force these people who are forced to buy their swill and make them drive on roads out of Pine Ridge (the Rez, not the town) and throw their empty cans and bottles on the shoulders of the highways leading to Rapid City and Hermosa and Hot Springs and Kadoka and Interior and even Martin (which is technically on the Rez - or was). (I have to admit these folks can throw empties a long ways - clear across the road.) [/sarcasm]

And what is the solution of the five council members, who have tried so many different solutions, getting everyone else to do everything that they can? What do they do after decades of attempts to use (and get) government to fix things have failed? They use MORE government.

Seriously, I HAVE been to Whiteclay - a nasty little place, and way TOO close to Pine Ridge town, which is ALSO a nasty, slightly bigger place. Even in comparison to places like Mission and Rosebud and Fort Thompson and Browning and Shiprock - only Fort Yates (ND - Standing Rock) comes close. Even those who live in Pine Ridge town and DON’T DRINK admit that Pine Ridge can drive you to drink. And (though the Tranzis and the bleeding hearts don’t want to admit or even talk about it), AmerInd DO have a much greater susceptibility to alcohol’s more severe negative impacts. Alcoholism is a VERY severe problem on the Rez and in urban areas both, even among very successful people. And FAS and other damage is rampant. Some families have history of alcoholism going back eight generations - to at least the 1840s in the vicinity of Fort Laramie and the Overland Trail, and for some back another fifty or sixty years (2-4 more generations) to the establishment of the fur-trade along the Missouri. And the problem has grown worse - for several reasons.

First, there is the hopelessness that permeates MANY reservations, but is tangible enough to cut around Pine Ridge in the many communities. It is more than being a defeated and conquered people: Ireland and Scotland and many parts of Germany endured that for multiple centuries. It is also the total change and loss of culture. It is also the denigration of their their culture: the systematic dismantling of their social system and suppression of their old religion (NOT them abandoning it as they were converted, as happened in Europe before the Middle Ages, but a forced abandonment as bad as any Papal army ever imposed on a European county). And it was and is the same hopelessness that Russians endured from 1917 to 1992 - except that the Lakota have suffered their version from 1877 to 2012 and for some, even going back to 1851 - more than TWICE the time: the hopelessness of living under Communism. The hopelessness of having to live by depending on others who can cut you off at any time, of seeing that success goes to those who can best kiss up to those in power, of even seeing that your culture’s highest honor and glory and self-fulfillment - the ideal of the Warrior - is treated like a contagious evil. Of seeing your family’s women pushed into roles that force them to be both matriarchs and whores, that offer premiums for having children without real fathers (other than biologically, of course) and destroy families (nuclear or extended or clan) in multiple ways.

As I said, the OST (and many other tribal nations) have tried time after time, for decades - indeed, centuries - to get government - “wasichu” (Anglo) government AND their own - to solve this and other problems. And they have seen the effort fail time and time again. You can see that in ravaged bodies, and you can see that in ravaged and abandoned lands and homes and businesses. And court cases and law suits have been tried over and over again - look up the Ponca leader Standing Bear’s case against General Crook in 1879 some time.

But government - tribal, local, state OR federal - is NOT going to solve these problems. Because government is, first and foremost, the CAUSE of far too many of these problems - or at best, government created the conditions that allowed - and even encouraged - these problems in the first place: breaking of treaties, ignoring ownership rights, banning cultural activities, hypocritically demanding giving up of many things, and claiming to provide protection and services that didn’t exist and were not possible: like banning the liquor and gun trades.

Stupid government tricks - Theft by government
Lessons from Solyndra
(Library of Economics and Liberty)

From 2008 to 2011, Solyndra spent almost $1.9 million on lobbyists...

A VERY nice investment for them, indeed. They really won - and the taxpayers lost. This circular win-win-lose sort of deal is what government is all about. But NO, the solution is NOT to end lobbying, the solution is to end government power to steal from one group and give to another.

Free Markets
New Way to Pay Doctors
(Wall Street Journal)

Part of medical providers' compensation could be tied to goals such as avoiding hospital readmissions under a new UnitedHealth Group Inc. payment plan...

In other words, paying for results? What a bizarre and twisted idea!

Mama's Note: The problem with that - still does not give responsibility or control to the patient! Far too easy this way to leave patients OUT of the hospital when they truly need to be there. The contract involve the patient and doctors directly for this to work.

Stupid people tricks
Dependence on Government at All-Time High
(Heritage Foundation)

Government dependency jumped 8.1 percent in the past year, with the most assistance going toward housing, health and welfare, and retirement...

The more we grow to depend on it, the more the probability of it completely failing, and the worse the results.

Home front - Culture wars: families
Family Proximity, Childcare and Women's Labor Force Attachment
(National Bureau of Economic Research)

The predicted probability of employment and labor force participation is 4 to 10 percentage points higher for married women with young children living in close proximity to their mothers or their mothers-in-law compared with those living further away...

In other words, with family to help, the more likely for mothers to dump their children and go out and work. This is a good thing?

Mama's Note: No, without family members to help, the children are left in the care of strangers... or home alone. Not all of these women are leaving their homes and children because they want to. Most can't feed those children any other way.

Theft by government
Momentum Growing for Sales Taxes on Online Purchases
(USA Today)

The National Conference of State Legislatures estimates that uncollected state sales taxes will cost states $23 billion this year...

Always seeking to steal more, this is a low-hanging fruit for too many legislatures, and they just can’t resist.

Europe’s fall
Greece: Pols agree to new spending cuts to avert default
(Los Angeles Times)

"Greece's political leaders have agreed with foreign creditors on steep austerity cuts, officials in Athens said Thursday, hours after a dangerous deadlock stalled talks on a new rescue package designed to stave off a chaotic default. ... The accord follows days of negotiations over demands by European Union and International Monetary Fund officials for more spending cuts by Greece to bring down its public debt and deficit levels." (02/09/12)

Once more, the Eurozone has bought a bit of time, but I suspect that ordinary Greeks aren’t going to accept this very well, and the crash will come anyway.

Crash of 2009
US jobless claims unexpectedly fall

"The number of Americans filing first- time claims for unemployment insurance payments unexpectedly declined last week, indicating the labor market recovery is gaining traction. Applications for jobless benefits decreased 15,000 in the week ended Feb. 4 to 358,000, Labor Department figures showed today." (02/09/12)

Okay, let me get this straight: 15,000 FEWER people got fired or laid off that week than the week before. Now, that is very nice for those people. But we STILL saw a third of a million people - in just ONE week, get fired or laid off - in addition to the same number (slightly higher) the week before that and the week before that - and this is “recovery” to Bloomberg and crew? Good news, yes, like if someone who has been losing a pint of blood an hour only loses 15 ounces in the last hour - but healing? Please.

Mama's Note: Here is the explanation for this tricky little problem, from our good friends Abbott and Costello!

Stupid People AND Government Tricks
Anne Sessions, 85-Year-Old Oregonian, Suing Big Bank Over Fake Suicide Call
(Huffington Post)

Anne Sessions of Lane County, Oregon is suing Wells Fargo after one of its debt collectors reported to police that that the 85-year-old was threatening suicide, a claim she maintains was false, The Oregonian reports. After hitting financial trouble, Sessions says she arranged a payment plan for her credit card debt with Wells Fargo last year, but just days later she allegedly received a call from a debt collector who badgered her with a "contemptous tone," according to the lawsuit. Sessions told the collector that such abuse may cause other customers to take their own lives, which allegedly prompted a line of questioning that included the collector asking Sessions: "But...if you did [commit suicide], how would you do it - hurt yourself?" Courthouse News reports. Within a half hour police arrived at Sessions' door and forcibly took her to the hospital. She was released hours later after hospital staff said they "strongly" believed Sessions was not a threat to herself or others, ABC News reports. But the incident left Sessions stuck with a hospital bill worth $1,055, for which she is seeking compensation, as well as $250,000 in punitive damages.

Now, I don’t usually use stories from the HuffPo, but a friend (Steve) sent this to me and it is well-documented. Here we have another perfect example of the arrogance of cops and their casual brutality and cruelty, AND of private companies using government as a hammer.

Mama's Note: ANOTHER reason to stay out of debt. I'd also suggest it's not a good idea to talk to strangers on the telephone.

Abominable Act - Culture wars: attacking religion
Obama shifts course on birth control rule to calm Catholic leaders’ outrage
(Washington Post)

President Obama moved to contain a growing political crisis Friday by altering a new birth control rule that had angered Catholics and ignited a debate across the political spectrum about the bounds of religious freedom.

I heard this yesterday (Friday), and frankly, it is a shell game. If Planned Parenthood is for it, you know it can’t be good, anyway. Yes, the “institutions” won’t have to pay for it, but the insurance firms or funds WILL - which means that Catholics and others opposed to killing children inside their mothers will STILL be forced to pay for it - just indirectly. And it makes “contraception” of any type into yet another “right.” Sadly, too many Catholics (and too many of their leaders and friends) will see this as a victory and abandon their rebellion. The First Citizen wins - for now. And our freedom - loses big time.

Mama's Note: It's exactly what I expected... the Church has no reason to fight with the government, and the government is happy to create this little exception for their good friends in the Church. Neither one has the slightest interest in individual liberty OR justice. It's all about power and perks.

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Nathan Barton
Written from the Four Corners, a land and community which has some (but not much) freedom left, but where even that liberty hangs by a thread. Nathan is a christian, a free-market anarchist, military officer, engineer, and writer. Feel free to contact him through The Price of Liberty.

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